Fish lovers everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief after the Marine Stewardship Council certified North Sea cod again.
Cod will now be able to be sold in supermarkets once again after a successful cod recovery programme saw the North Sea fish “brought back from the brink.”
Approximately 70,000 tonnes of cod is eaten in the UK alone each year, just over 1kg of cod per person. However ten years back, the nation was warned that the North Sea had been overfished to the point of near total depletion.
In particular, the cod stocks had tumbled from 270,000 in the 1970s to a mere 44,000 by 2006. Now, a collaborative effort has seen cod populations make a resurgence and rise to 167,711 tonnes, meaning they are now able to be sold again.
Shops and restaurants selling cod will now carry a blue tick indicating that their cod is sustainable and traceable. Similarly, English and Scottish fishing boats will be able to carry the blue tick after passing an independent sustainability assessment.
The MSC’s Toby Middleton said:
“Thanks to a collaborative, cross-industry effort, one of our most iconic fish has been brought back from the brink.
“Modified fishing gear, catch controls, well-managed fishing practices – all these steps have come together to revive a species that was in severe decline.”
Other species in severe decline which are to be avoided include seabass, seabream, clams, eel, shark and whitebait.